Monday, February 11, 2013

Where the good adventurers go

I talk a big game about adventure. I mean it's part of my blog name, so yeah kinda one of my favorite things ever in life, period. So last Thursday I not so subtly at all asked my boyfriend if he was just going to be doing office work the next day or running around DC being a posh salesman. He replied that he would be in the office. You know that scene in the Grinch when he gets overwhelming glee at the idea of stealing Christmas and his smile slowly curves up his face? That is precisely what my smile did.

"Soooo, can I drive you into work then tomorrow and have your car for the day?" I asked.

"Sure," he said.

Adventure! Adventure! Adventure-tiiiiiiiiime! My inner self sang, shaking her hips and arms from side to side in a wholly unattractive super shimmy. But it was on. A date with me and the open road. Immediately every outlandish possibility entered my mind. Could I make it to the ocean and back in one work day? Hmmm, probably, if I didn't hit traffic and/or get car-sick which seems to happen every time I get in a car these days. Hmmm, okay, best to get all the irrational ideas out of the way first. That always works best. Though I have really been jonesing the sea, but maybe that trip would require more planning--ugh, one of my least favorite words, and my boyfriend's very favorite words. In fact I think he definitely gets his jollies being a Planner McGee.

Anyway, so then I opened up maps of Virginia on Google and just looked for towns with enticing names. Obviously, that's a great method. I am nothing if not scientific and methodical. I became transfixed with the town Rappahannock. That name is amazing for starters, sounds slightly native and like it more than likely translates to adventure. And I am certain I'd heard of it, which seemed promising, but then I settled that I shouldn't even have a plan at all. I could find a cute town, river, or the mountains which I could clearly see from my window, just with my innate sense of direction and thirst for adventure. I am like a bloodhound in that way.

Friday came and I dropped DC off at his office and drove back home to get ready as I wasn't yet, why mince words, I am not a morning gal and I kept sleeping til the last possible second and then grumpily and begrudgingly got out of bed to drive DC to work, (I know, I know, why would I do that when I wanted the car and an adventure day in the first place, but you know what, I am an enigma. I don't even pretend to get me; I am shrouded in unbelievably infinite mystery, complexities... Okay that was excessive, I apologize) so was not about to adventure in his sweatpants and sweatshirt that I had thrown on in my haste.

After deciding to be nice and drop off a lunch for my incredibly thoughtful sir, for letting me commandeer his car, I couldn't get out of his office and on the road fast enough. He asked me what I was doing and I vaguely shrugged and ran for the door.

"Why are you being so mysterious? What are you doing? You're running out of here without even kissing me."

Oh right. I ran back, quickly laid one on him, smiled my Grinch-y, finger tapping, I have plans smile and said, "Nothing. Gotta go!"

And then I was off!

It struck me when I was driving DC into work earlier that if instead of going left toward his office, if I went straight, toward the mountains, I could just run smack dab into them. At least that is what I fancied in my mind, that I would just drive right up to the base of one and look up and whoa, how do you do mountain friend? That is what I was envisioning as I headed toward the dark blue horizontal zig-zags in the distance, with my packed baggy of PB&J crackers and a water bottle.

I drove straight for awhile happily staring at the mountains ahead and blasting my folksy jams. But then I came to a blinking light and what seemed to be a darling town to my left. I should turn, I thought. Good adventurers always go with their instincts. Who knows what could be in this fetching lil town? Turns out nothing of note, but no matter, I was officially getting lost heading toward mountains, fields, and woods. Oh and getting lost on purpose. The best way. I have serious navigational skills, so I was not worried about ending up anywhere unsavory.

I lost sight of the mountains and began winding further into what looked like farm country. But honestly it was lovely. I happened upon this house the size of a castle, but that was shaped like two silo's. Riveting! I kept trying to get closer but every road near it said, No Trespassing. Seriously, what are people so worried about? If you're going to build a house that is clearly an architectural gem, you should expect Lookie Lou's. I totally would've inched further down the road anyway and then pretended to be lost if I got caught if I weren't in DC's car, on top of hearing his voice in the back of my mind being all stern and rule-follow-y, questioning what kind trouble I was about to embark upon. Honestly, Dece, I'm not a criminal, simply curious. There is nothing wrong with healthy curiosity. In fact, I was strongly encouraged as a journalism student to cultivate my curiosity. So by heeding DC's imaginary warnings, I was actually stifling my journalistic instincts, but fine! So be it, I will turn around and miss an opportunity to see a barn castle up close.

I kept going, getting giddy seeing rolling hills with cows grazing, abandoned houses--one of my favorite things to ogle, a white horse that I was certain in the passing light could've passed as a unicorn. In fact I may have squinted my eyes as I got closer to be sure it wasn't a unicorn. You really never know. If I had a unicorn I most certainly would hide it in plain sight. It's actually quite brilliant.

Then I started to realize I hadn't come upon the mountains yet as I had sort of planned on. I was just getting deeper into the woods. And it was a grey, dreary sort of day and I was passing a lot of overgrown cemeteries. As I was winding through a road that seemed to be in the middle of a swamp, my mind latched onto a memory I had of reading about some haunted road in Virginia where a woman disappeared. Instantly I was convinced I was on said road. I did feel a ghostly presence come to think of it. I got about another mile down and saw another abandoned house and immediately did a U-ie. I just can't be on a haunted adventure alone, I freaked out! Honestly, where are the mountains, why are there so many graveyards out here? Are all the houses abandoned? As I started back the way I came I drove slowly past one of the empty houses, overgrown with weeds, and a dilapidated, rusted blue ford in the back. I swore I saw a lady in an old tattered cream dress leaning against the door of the back barn, I panicked, hit the gas, tires squealing on the corner of the road.

I have to get outta here! Now I was legitimately over-worked and convinced I was most certainly on the haunted road and the ghosts were evidently rampant! By the time I got home I had imagined myself into all sorts of tizzies and had to find out if I had indeed stumbled upon a haunted area of Virginia.

No. No I wasn't even close. Well okay, still, that was a spooky adventure nonetheless. How titillating. Then I thought I heard a thump in my bedroom. Keep in mind, it was mid-day at this point, but no matter. I looked around slowly, prickles dashing up my spine, and then high-tailed it outta there to go get DC. I grabbed a Valentine's cookie on my way out though. To soothe my rattled nerves.

Good grief. I just never can prepare for the type of adventures I will have, truly. Who knew I'd go searching for the mountains and find a silo shaped castle, would-be unicorn, and ghostly phenomena instead?

Nope, there's no preparing for that.

1 comment:

Shawnee said...

Absolutely enthralling and I just love your adventure-writing! not gonna lie, one of my favorite parts (yes, partS) was the unicorn. ahhh yes.

"I know, I know, why would I do that when I wanted the car and an adventure day in the first place, but you know what, I am an enigma. I don't even pretend to get me; I am shrouded in unbelievably infinite mystery, complexities..." I can relate to this over and over..! funny, isn't it.